Floral foam is widely used in the floral industry. It holds stems securely in place, opening up a wider range of design possibilities and offering extra structure and security.
It’s cancerous. And people are being exposed to it, directly through skin contact, on the regular.
“Oasis Floral Foam made by Smithers-Oasis of North America, is made of plastic that’s not biodegradable and it has some hazardous components, namely: Formaldehyde, Carbon black, Proprietarty Acid Catalysts, Proprietarty Sulfactant and Barium Sulfate. The first two being known as carcinogenic. The document also suggests that this foam may be irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. It also says that prolonged exposure to Formaldehyde and Carbon black may cause cancer.” You can read more on Gorgeous and Green Events.
WHY are people tolerating, purchasing and exposing their skin to this day after day?
Flowers are one of Mother Earth’s gift to us, beauty, delicacy and strength in one, purity–and we are pairing them with toxic chemicals that put all living things at risk. It just doesn’t make sense.
I have never, nor will I ever, use floral foam. My business is deeply rooted in environmentalism (like, duh, right?) and I strive to work with the natural process of life in every step of the way. Foam is an industry standard, but we can change that. Call your florists and ask them not to use it– it’s likely going to directly harm them the most anyway.
Alternatives to foam include tape grids, branch clusters, reusable wire balls, marbles, sand, and floral frogs. See more on Ready Flowers.
Fun fact: I created an enormous centerpiece for a client’s Christmas table. I put it on a makeshift pedestal to photograph it and the ENTIRE THING FLIPPED EXACTLY ONTO IT’S HEAD! I knelt there in horror, frozen for a second while gallons of water flooded my kitchen. It was arranged in a large bowl as opposed to a vase, and I had made a tape grid. To my (very shocked and grateful) surprise, only two flowers broke and the tape held it all in place. I am forever in love with tape grids.
**Be careful when using tape on “mercury” vessels. It took the pretty coating off the bowl below Perhaps utilize the other options listed above in those cases.